Fall 2010 Course Descriptions

Folklore 160AC
Forms of Folklore
TUTH 330-5P
F0295 HAAS
section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes

Folklore shapes social identities and notions of community. Attributing “traditional” forms of communication—such as legends, myths, proverbs, riddles, folksongs, rituals, and festivals—to country people, peasants, the working class, or ethnic others enabled members of dominant social groups to distance themselves from the premodern world for three centuries. But it turns out that folklore is woven into the fabric of our daily lives. This course focuses on how all of us construct notions of difference—racial, ethnic, gender, sexuality, class, and nation—through folklore. By examining how a wide range of genres are used in both enforcing social boundaries and hierarchies and challenging the “official” discourses and institutions that attempt to shape us, the study of folklore forms and analytic approaches provide tools for understanding our world and attempting to transform it. Thus, the course explores critical multiculturalism in the United States and elsewhere both in terms of content that deals with African American, Asian American, Latino/a, Native American, and various European American communities and by thinking about how understandings and practices of race and racism are produced, patrolled, and resisted. The course project turns each student into a contributor to the field of folklore by collecting traditional knowledge from his or her milieu and placing it in the Berkeley Folklore Archives.

Folklore 162
Topics in Folklore: Refugee Cultural Practices and Narratives
TUTH 330-5P
section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes

Refugee cultural experiences include not only the kinds of complex cultural borrowings and fusions common to immigrant experience but also the narratives and other expressions of loss, displacement, and trauma.   Topics include health, ritual, craft, life story narrative, and political asylum.

Amy Shuman, Professor of Folklore, Anthropology, and Women's Studies at The Ohio State University, will be a Visiting Professor of Anthropology and Folklore at UCB in the Fall 2010 Semester. She is the author of Storytelling Rights: The Uses of Oral and Written Texts by Urban Adolescents, Other People's Stories: Entitlement and the Critique of Empathy, and Rejecting Refugees: Political Asylum in the 21st Century (with Carol Bohmer).  She publishes and teaches in the areas of feminist theory, folklore, the Frankfurt School, artisan culture, political asylum, and conversational narrative.

Folklore 250X
Traditional Form and Value in Global Circulation
TH 530-730P
section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes
What happens to cultural forms that are objectified as "traditional" or
"vernacular" under contemporary regimes of global capital and
transnational (de)regulation? In the face of the restructurings of value
initiated by the World Trade Organization, the World Intellectual
Property Organization, free trade agreements, and transnational
corporations, intellectual property rights have become a key locus of
efforts by the powerful to monopolize the extraction of value even as
poorer and less powerful producers of cultural forms lay claim to their
own creative products. Scholars now often focus on what channels and
limits processes that were formerly over-generalized as “globalization.”
Oppositions between open circulation (either of the "free trade" or
"open source" varieties) versus commodification and restriction no
longer capture the complexity and stakes of such phenomena as the global
marketing of traditional musical and visual forms (without compensation
to vernacular artists) or the virtual repatriation of songs, stories,
images, and other materials to indigenous communities.
A new coalition of leading scholars from Asia, Europe, Latin America,
and the United States has formed in order to help analytical frames
catch up with contemporary phenomena and to explore the diverse ways
that forms and value intersect. This seminar will both explore this
emergent body of literature and contribute to a Web-based collaboration
designed to decenter and decolonialize exchanges of knowledge about
traditonalities and modernites.
Folklore C262A
Theories of Traditionality and Modernity
M 12-3P
15 2224 PIEDMONT
section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes

This seminar explores the emergence of notions of tradition and modernity and their reproduction in Eurocentric epistemologies and political formations. We will consider the implications of these concepts for differentiations among high and low,  local and global, oral and written, etc.  Readings will include Anderson, Bourdieu, Butler, Canclini, Chakrabarty, Clifford, Derrida, Foucault, Herder, Latour, Mignolo, Pateman, Poovey and Vico.  We will critically reread foundational works published between the 17th century (especially German Romanticists) and the present--along with philosophical texts with which they are in dialogue--in terms of how they are imbricated within and help produce traditionalities and modernities.

Also listed as Anthropology C262A.

Anthropology 270A
Fundamentals of Language in Context
W 11-2P
15 2224 Piedmont
section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes

At the same time that it provides an intensive introduction to linguistic anthropology, this course constitutes a collective effort to rethink the field's pasts, presents, and futures. It focuses on path-breaking work from the late nineteenth century through the present, but with primary emphasis on foundational works published in the early twentieth century through the 1980s. Authors include Saussure, Freud, Boas, Sapir, Whorf, Peirce, Benveniste, Jakobson, Bakhtin, Vološinov, Levi-Strauss, Chomsky, Austin, Hymes, Labov, Goffman, Sacks, Bauman, Bourdieu, Hill, Das, Mendoza-Denton, and Alim. In addition to examining the historical context in which these works emerged (including issues of colonialism, racism and anti-racism, nationalism and cosmopolitanism, etc.), seminar discussion will focus on two sets of questions: First, how does the work construct such notions as language, culture, structure, voice, society, community, and history? How does language become an object of knowledge? Which social actors are granted status as having knowledge of language? How is knowledge about language produced, analyzed, and evaluated? Second, drawing on the notion of boundary-work, discussions will examine how linguistic anthropology is constructed as a field and the way boundaries are drawn between it and other areas of anthropology, other disciplines, and the knowledge-making practices of laypersons (including "native speakers"). How do path-breaking works manage the tension between creating and bounding fields versus creatively jumping across these boundaries?  The course is designed for graduate students interested in linguistic anthropology and students in other areas of anthropology and other disciplines who wish to critically assess how constructions of language and modes of documenting and analyzes languages enter into social thought and their chosen fields. Upper-level undergraduates may enroll with permission of the instructor. Each participant will join a student collective that examines readings with respect to a particular set of questions and posts a position paper before class on bSpace. Seminar meetings will thus be enriched by juxtaposing distinctly-focused readings.  

Music 134A
Music of the East Asia Tradition
section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes

Three hours of lecture and one hour of laboratory per week. Surveys the musics of China, Tibet, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan--cultures which share instrument types but have developed distinctive musical styles.

Music 137
Music of the Civil Rights Era
Three hours of lecture and one hour of discussion per week. Historical and political analysis of a variety of genres related to the new social movements of the mid-20th century. Includes African American, European American, Asian American, Latino, and Native American styles. 
Scandinavian 170
Arctic and Subarctic Folklore and Mythology in Nordic Lands
MWF 10-11
section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes
This course surveys the folklore and mythology of the principal non-Scandinavian/minority peoples of the Nordic countries: Greenlanders (Eskimos), Sami (Lapps), and Karelians (Eastern Finns). Comparative evidence from other Arctic and Subarctic traditions will also be considered. All readings are in English, and there are no prerequisites.

Materials to be studied derive from the traditional cultures and were for the most part collected in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. There is some generic distinction: legends, myth, and traditional folktales from the Greenlanders and Sami, epic poetry from the Karelians (and its literary reformation in the Kalevala). Shamanism is an informing model of interpretation, and problems of identity and power are central.

Written work: midterm examination, term paper, final examination.

A Trail for Singers. Finnish Folk Poetry: Epic. Ed. Matti Kuusi. Tr. Keith Bosley
Thomas DuBois, An Introduction to Shamanism
Merete Dement Jakobsen, Shamanism: Traditional and Contemporary Approaches to the Mastery of Spirits and Healing
The Kalevala: Or Poems of the Kaleva District. Compiled by Elias Lönnrot. Transl. Francis Peabody Magoun, Jr.
Heinrich Rink. Tales and Traditions of the Eskimo: With a Sketch of Their Habits, Religion, Language and Other Peculiarities
Course Reader

Prerequisites: None.

L&S Breadth: International Studies OR Arts & Literature OR Social & Behavioral Sciences

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